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On Sunday my family had our annual Family Holiday Planning Meeting.  This is a big deal, both since we tend to celebrate Christmas with a vengeance, and because as our family has grown & become more complicated, we have more individual schedules to consider.  Sometimes in the past, like all complicated emotionally charged family things, this meeting did not go well.  (For the record, when the planning meeting ends with half the table in tears, multiple relationships in need of repair, and half the family fled to other floors or from the house entirely for the sake of their sanity, it does not bode well for the rest of the holiday season.)  However, this year, things went pretty well.  We scheduled events, made decisions, settled questions, and nobody cried sad tears, not even the baby.  I did shed a few tears, but that was entirely different.

You see, the Big Decision we had to discuss this year was whether or not we were going to have our Big Family New Years Day Party this year.  This is the blow out Feast that we have had every New Years Day for most of my life.  Last year was the first time in over thirty years that we did not have it, but we knew that after the rigors of The Duchess’s wedding right at the beginning of the holiday season (especially considering that it was our third family wedding in six months), none of us were really up to it.  And, of course, the big danger of breaking a tradition is that often the tradition stays broken instead of getting picked up again.

This year when it came to the vote, we were exactly evenly split between those who wanted to keep the tradition going, and those who thought it was way too much work.  Mom was asking whether we had polled absolutely everyone, and we replied that we had gotten a vote from everyone, except the baby who can only say, “Da da.”  (She’s started talking – did I mention that?)  I tried to make the argument that Sweet Pea is actually speaking Russian, and so her vote was Yes.  Sae started laughing, and said that if I could get the baby to say da da within the next two minutes, we could count it as a vote.  Instantly, the whole table started making faces and cooing and doing everything in their power to coax the child to speak.  The baby was vastly entertained, and said not a word.  I laughed until I cried.

It was a pretty good meeting.

Also, we’re not going to have the party.  Which is sad.  But maybe next year we’ll be able to talk people into it.

The other upshot of the meeting Sunday is that I now know what I’m doing for Fleur’s Christmas present.  Some of you may recall that a few years back, Indy and I made a doll for her.  Indy sewed the doll, made a doll bed (with sheets) and a chest.  I knit the doll a sweater and a thick coverlet for the bed, and sewed a corduroy skirt and a pair of white flannel pantaloons.  It was quite the doll.  However, as cool as it was, it was rather overshadowed by Fleur’s other Christmas present that year, the dollhouse Indy redid for her (and justly so – it’s an amazing dollhouse).  So while I had some plans to make additional clothes for the doll, they kinda fell by the wayside for lack of momentum. However, in order to help Fleur survive the rigors of a full Family Meeting, on Sunday I brought a craft for her to help me with.  She and I were stitching hearts cut from pink sweatshirt fabric together into little stuffed hearts, which can be strung on ribbon to make a ridiculously cute garland (I saved the first heart Fleur sewed up – the stitching is so adorably wonky).

All that sewing inspired me to ask Fleur if she was interested in having more clothes for that doll.  She replied very definitively in the affirmative, adding that she would particularly like some dresses.  So between now and Christmas, I think there’s going to be a lot of miniature pattern drafting going on.  I decided to start with something a little easier than a ball gown, and am currently stitching a tiny Alabama Chanin style raglan sleeve t-shirt (sortof like the gray one I’m wearing in my pictures with The Little Philosopher).  I figure once I’m done with that I’ll make a matching pair of yoga pants, and then maybe move on to the party dresses.  So I think there are some pictures of ridiculously cute doll clothes in your future.